Does inclusion really mean everyone? When a school decides to follow the path towards embracing the promise of including all, do they know how to proceed? Sangath and Keystone Institute India recently teamed up to explore these very questions and to assist four schools in Goa to move forward towards inclusion as a part of the Beyond Boundaries project.
Sangath has all sorts of technical expertise in promoting successful inclusion initiatives, and was looking for ways to help all four schools start strong and develop their own vision of their own school being a model for inclusive practice, and also grow into a thriving, diverse community of learners which includes students with developmental disabilities. Keystone serves as a national resource for PATH and other tools for inclusive practice, and is cultivating leaders across India who are facilitation experts. This week, Keystone Institute India facilitated 4 PATH processes at 4 different schools to assist each school community to plan for a positive future by harnessing the facilitation skills of four committed leaders from across India. Two process facilitators, who learned their craft at leadership level workshops in Chennai and Punjab (KII’s own Dr. Neelam Sodhi and Ms. Radha Ramesh from Vidya Sagar) led 4 schools though the PATH process, envisioning the future, and helping the group translate that vision into action – that’s the heart and the hands of change agentry. Mridula Das and Radiya Gohil, talented graphic facilitators from Pune trained by Keystone Institute India last March in West Bengal were able to bring the vision and the strategies to life in vibrant ways.
Ms. Percy Cardoza, the leader of the Sangath initiative, has deep knowledge about good inclusive practices – concepts like universal design for learning, scaffolded instruction, co-teaching, and adapting curricula. We might think of this as the “head” of inclusive practice. Percy, as a strong leader, understands that the knowledge is never enough, it must be accompanied by passion, enthusiasm – the “heart” and a willingness to put our hands to work in action – the “hands”.
We look forward to catching up with Murgao High School, Our Lady of Fatima High School,Government High School Juna Bazar-Ponda, and Immaculate Conception High School, Paroda in December at a gathering od all four schools to mark progress, celebrate success, troubleshoot barriers, and learn from each other. Thomas and Betsy Neuville will lead this gathering in Goa in December, along with all four events.